Ukraine

Ukraine Cash Consortium MEL Director

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster and hardship in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps is responding to the Ukraine emergency since the escalation of armed conflict across the country in February 2022. The attacks set off a wave of displacement internally and into the countries along Ukraine’s western borders. The Ukraine response has three programmatic pillars which feature in each proposal but are not limited to: 1) Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA; where markets permit and in-kind distributions where cash is not feasible), 2) Small grants to local civil society organizations and 3) Protection information and services. Some of this work is in consortium, collaboration with local partners, or independently. Mercy Corps is also supporting local NGOs and other civil society actors currently supporting displaced populations, as well as those in Ukraine sheltering in place. In addition to working directly in Ukraine, Mercy Corps’ Ukraine Response is currently also working in Poland and Romania, and may expand work to Moldova as well. As Mercy Corps pursues its objectives in the region it will continue to assess the security situation in areas of potential operation, with an eye towards the logistics of possible programmatic interventions and positioning going forward.

General Position Summary

The Cash Consortium Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Director is the most senior MEL role in Mercy Corps’ Ukraine Response (Ukraine, Poland, and Romania currently). The MEL Director is the lead on the Ukraine Cash Consortium and convener of the MEL Working group, working through the MEL Directors and managers of the other consortium partners. They will develop, finalize and oversee the implementation of the Consortium level Activity MEL Plan, set priorities and lead the development of the program’s learning agenda. The MEL Director is also responsible for leading a large team of MEL, database, and analytics teammates that collectively meet monitoring and evaluation needs of all Ukraine response programming. In addition to the acquisition, analysis, and reporting functions, the MEL team is also responsible for ensuring monitoring and evaluation results are reflected upon and used to improve ongoing programs, and are incorporated into proposal development opportunities. The MEL Director is also responsible for leading the systems and strategy of the recruitment, onboarding, and development of all MEL teammates, ensuring they have the skills needed to perform their roles at a high level, and have opportunities for growth within and outside the team.

They will encourage a culture of learning by promoting evidence driven decision making at the consortium level, engaging consortium partners in periodic performance and progress reviews. The MEL Director will initiate appropriate discussions, and connect/coordinate opportunities, studies, learning initiatives across partners to achieve the learning agenda. As a member of the Consortium senior management team, the MEL Director will be responsible for identifying and promoting learning and knowledge sharing opportunities across partners through periodic learning initiatives. The Consortium MEL Director will initiate and oversee the implementation of consortium level reviews, pause and reflection sessions, identify knowledge gaps and coordinate with the consortium members on addressing those. The MEL Director will be the main point of contact with the donor and coordinate donor communication with the partners on MEL as needed. Lastly, the MEL director will represent the needs and priorities of MEL at internal and external venues as needed for the production of high-quality, and actionable outputs of the MEL systems.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision

  • Establish, lead and coordinate the consortium MEL working group. Through the MEL working group the MEL Director will lead the development of consortium MEL standards, the consortium level MEL workplan, ensuring appropriate coordination across partners’ MEL teams/and adherence by partners to consortium level MEL standards.

  • Develop UCC Consortium level response MEL strategy, provide guidance to consortium partner MEL leads on development partner level MEL plans and work plans.

  • Coordinate and oversee the MEL work of the Ukraine response, including efforts around alignment of data management structures, systems, instruments.

  • Work closely with the consortium partner MEL leads to develop and prepare real time reports on UCC progress.

  • Continuously engage and represent MEL at senior consortium levels and ensure leadership are fully bought into consortium data-driven decision making processes and that MEL has full leadership support to function properly

  • Participate in senior management meetings, presenting the progress, lead discussions and ensure use of programmatic data for adaptive management in response to MEL and context data.

  • Ensure the use of data, reports, and findings generated by the MEL systems for decision making at the consortium level, as well as within individual teams of the consortium members.

Learning and Data Driven Decision Making

  • Develop and define a response level Learning Agenda. Initiate areas where strong documentation is needed, participate and lead on knowledge generation and knowledge management efforts are defined in the Learning Agenda.

  • Identify areas for knowledge gaps and learning needs, at the consortium level, work with the consortium members to build those in individual agency work plans.

  • Lead on the development of and clarification of the Scopes of Work, as well as the implementation of consortium level studies, including baseline, After Action Reviews (AAR), Real-Time Evaluation (RTE), Final Evaluation, and others, working closely with the consortium partner relevant staff.

  • Ensure consortium senior management buy-in to partner and consortium learning agenda and ensure consortium level mechanisms are established to take action on key program learnings

  • Develop, plan and lead pause and reflection opportunities to track progress towards UCC key deliverables and objectives, working closely with Consortium member leads.

  • Lead development of UCC learning agenda, work with the partners to implement learning opportunities to fulfill the learning needs.

  • Ensure close coordination on the MEL activities and priorities across consortium partners, including data privacy and security measures.

  • Represent UCC and Mercy Corps in external, donor and government meetings as needed.

MEL System Leadership

  • Work with consortium partner MEL leads,MEL Manager, learning manager and data and automation departments, establish appropriate consortium data flow mechanisms. Working with the consortium partners, ensure appropriate implementation of the UCC data mechanisms,data structures including the harmonization of variables, indicators and naming conventions. .

  • Coordinate consortium partner MEL leads to leverage automated data workflow solutions for appropriate level of aggregation of data and results at the partner and consortium levels

  • Identify needs for training and capacity building for MEL technologies and other important MEL components, and coordinate across consortium partners, plan and oversee implementation of those across consortium members.

  • Ensure implementation of DQAs by consortium partners and oversee consortium level DQAs, identify remedial solutions and oversee their implementation.

  • Support consortium partner MEL leads ensuring appropriate staffing levels to achieve the implementation of MEL standards,MEL priorities, and the workplan.

  • Work with senior management to address shortfalls in MEL systems and functions that affect program implementation and results.

Grants/ Reports Management

  • Develop systems by which the MEL team supports the program implementation team in timely and accurate reporting to donors.

  • Coordinate with a variety of teams, HQ, Finance, and Program Directors and Country Director to ensure that reports are timely, high-quality, and responsive to donors.

  • Lead systems for team capacity building through coaching on the topic of report writing and quality control of final written products.

Team Management

  • Oversee overall management of consortium MEL and empower consortium partner MEL leads and MEL departments to carry out effective MEL duties as laid out in the consortium MEL plan/workplan

  • Set up systems and lead approach to hiring, orienting, supervising, and building skills of MEL teammates in a way that supports both quality MEL results and career development for MEL teammates.

  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach team, response, and global objectives.

  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews with direct reports.

  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence and feel comfortable in their roles and in sharing their opinions on progress, improvement, and concerns.

Localization

  • Ensure appropriate participation of the local implementing partners at the Consortium MEL working group.

  • Lead the MEL team in an inclusive and supportive approach to MEL through partnerships including:

  • Partner MEL capacity assessments and capacity strengthening plans

  • Inclusion of implementing and consortium partners in more than just data-collection phase of MEL systems. This will depend on the context and partner but may include joint tool development. Sharing roles in data analysis, and creating space for partner input and sharing within reflection and learning events

Organizational Learning

  • As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

Accountability to Beneficiaries

  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility

Consortium MEL Manager, Learning Manager, Response MEL Manager

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Ukraine Consortium Response Director

Works Directly With: Program Managers, Partner MEL focal points, Heads of HR, Operations, Finance, and other support departments, Regional PaQ Advisor, Global MEL Team

Knowledge and Experience

  • Required:

  • Advanced degree (masters or doctorate) or equivalent, preferable in Social Science, data science, research or international development, data automation, MEL and other related areas.

  • 5+ years of demonstrated managerial experience overseeing a large team with multiple tiers of reporting lines

  • 3+ years of experience in managing monitoring, evaluation, and learning teams.

  • Demonstrated experience managing a team with multiple reporting/supervisory lines

  • Demonstrated experience in implementing monitoring, evaluation, and learning strategies and activities in humanitarian crisis/emergency contexts

  • Demonstrated experience implementing MEL for Cash, Voucher, and other distribution assistance programming

  • A strong understanding of Management Information Systems (MIS) and ability to lead work around harmonized and standardized data systems, including standardization of variables across multiple actors, establishing complex dataflows, ensuring interoperability across multiple platforms

  • Experience leading MEL systems, processes, and attaining quality results with partner organizations

  • High degree of computer literacy; Excel, Word, and Powerpoint or equivalent skills are essential.

  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.

  • Excellent oral and written English skills

  • Preferred:

  • Experience working with a variety of donors, including BHA/USAID and European donors, including EU, FCDO and others.

  • Knowledge of Core Humanitarian Standards and Experience applying them through MEL work.

  • Proficiency in Ukrainian or Russian Languages

Success Factors and Transferable Skills

Any skills you have gained through education, volunteer, work, or life experience that are relevant for the position will be considered. Be sure to fully explain transferable skills and success factors and how they apply to this position in your cover letter.

The ideal candidate will have a strong curiosity for understanding and working effectively within the complex cultural, political, security and social environment of Ukraine. The MEL Director will be an excellent communicator, multi-tasker, and able to work and lead a team in ambiguous situations. The successful candidate will be focused on team-building and capacity-building of national staff; be a strategic thinker, and maintain a sense of humor.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Lviv, Ukraine with a contingent possibility of relocation to Poland and Romania. Accommodations are being defined and access to services – medical, electricity, water, etc is in place but may change depending on the situation. This position requires travel to surrounding countries, as security permits. Given the emergency context, this position requires exceptional work schedules, including evenings and weekends.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world's most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening, and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.**

How to apply

Apply here